April 2008

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In This Edition

Eat Right and Stoke Up on Minerals
Vegetarian Variations With Raisins
Celebrating Cinco de Mayo With California Raisins
Raisin’ the Fun on Mother’s Day

Health & Nutrition

Recipe of the MonthSea Scallops, Green Salsa with California Raisins (Salsa de Pasitas Verdes), and Pears

Valerie Waters’ Tip of the Month

MyPyramid.gov - Steps to a Healthier You

Eat more fruits and vegetables in 2008.

Eat Right and Stoke Up on Minerals

Minerals, unlike vitamins, are inorganic and do not contain the carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms found in all organic compounds. However, they also are present in plants and animal foods, but they are imported from the soil and then from the plants that animals eat. Minerals, too, are essential for human life and are classified as major minerals and trace elements.

The major minerals are Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Sulfur, Sodium, Potassium, and Chloride. Calcium is important for forming bones and teeth, maintaining the electrolyte balance in your body, and controlling high blood pressure. Calcium may even lower the risk of cancer of the colon and rectum.

Trace elements include Iron, Zinc, Iodine, Selenium, Copper, Manganese, Fluoride, Chromium, and Molybdenum. One of the most important is Iron because it is an essential part of hemoglobin and myoglobin, the parts of blood that store and transport oxygen throughout the body. Iron is also a part of various enzymes. The best sources of this element are organ meats and red meats, egg yolks, wheat germ, and oysters. Whole grains, wheat germ, California Raisins, nuts, seeds, prunes and prune juice, and potato skins contain nonheme iron, which is more available when eaten with meat or foods that are rich in Vitamin C, like tomatoes and citrus fruits.

The percentage of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for both Vitamins A and C and the minerals Calcium and Iron, based on a 2,000-calorie diet, are listed on the nutrition facts label that you will find on most packaged foods.

Sea Scallops, Green Salsa with California Raisins (Salsa de Pasitas Verdes), and PearsSea Scallops, Green Salsa with California Raisins (Salsa de Pasitas Verdes), and Pears, this month’s Recipe of the Month, should appear on your menu at least once during the month. With 8 percent of the RDI for Vitamin A, 20 percent for Vitamin C, 6 percent for Calcium, 4 percent for Iron, and 21 percent for Vitamin E, as well as 8 percent for Potassium, it is a very nutritious choice.

Raisin Apple Mini PizzaCalifornia Raisin-Walnut Wontons with Goat Cheese and Honey-Mustard Dipping SauceChoose a slice of the Raisin Ploughman’s Loaf as a good way to add some Calcium and Iron to your diet. A Raisin Apple Mini Pizza or California Raisin-Walnut Wontons with Goat Cheese and Honey-Mustard Dipping Sauce on your snack menu provides good portions of these minerals, too.

Sweet and Spicy ChiliLightened Up Pulled PorkCabbage Rolls with Tomato Raisin Sauce, Sweet and Spicy Chili, and Lightened Up Pulled Pork (tacos) pack a lot of nutrition into tasty main dishes you will love to serve.

To add excitement and good mineral and vitamin nutrition to your meals, consider these vegetable dishes — Seven Vegetable Tagine with Chickpeas and Raisins or Sautéed Spinach with Pine Nuts and Golden Raisins.

Milk and other dairy products are excellent sources of Calcium, so tempt the kids — and the whole family — with a Frothy Yogurt Shake or a Fruit Shake that they can even make on their own.

Then, top it all off with Raisin Dumplings in Caramel Sauce, with 3 mg of Iron and 124 mg of Calcium in each serving.

Vegetarian Variations With Raisins

Speaking of vitamins and minerals, there is no better place to stock up on these than with those fresh fruits and vegetables that come in the spring. And, no better way to “think green and save the planet” than to eat lots of your locally grown in-season produce. A good place to find these is at a farmers market in your neighborhood.

Valerie WatersValerie Waters, fitness consultant to the stars, recommends education through sampling. She says: “We all know kids can be notoriously picky when it comes to food. Try taking them to a farmers market, where they will learn that food doesn’t just come from the supermarket and that there are seasons for different foods. They will be encouraged to sample a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and often nuts or dried fruit. And, a farmers market is a fun outing for the whole family.”

Plan an outing for the entire family, very soon, and bring home some new foods to enjoy vegetarian-style. So fresh and flavorful, just add California Raisins, and the tastes will amaze you!

Chile Rellenos with California Raisins, Cheese, Pecans and Guajillo Chile SauceMaui Onions Stuffed with Curried Raisin CouscousChile Rellenos with California Raisins, Cheese, Pecans and Guajillo Chile Sauce, a tasty vegetarian option, is filled with melted cheeses, raisins and pecans, then topped with Guajillo sauce. Maui Onions Stuffed with Curried Raisin Couscous is a combination of sweet and savory couscous topped with sweet tomato raisin marmalade for an exotic and satisfying entrée.

Crunchy Raisin RiceGolden Raisin and Lentil SaladGolden Raisin and Lentil Salad packs in fiber and protein, not to mention flavor, along with vitamins and minerals, and it’s easy, hearty, tasty, and bursting with color. To keep calories, cholesterol, and sodium low, make Crunchy Raisin Rice.

California Raisin, Caramelized Onion and Blue Cheese Orzo PastaCaramelized Onion Soup with Golden Raisin PestoCalifornia Raisin, Caramelized Onions and Blue Cheese Orzo Pasta is a tasty pasta packed with fresh Italian flavors. Caramelized Onion Soup with Golden Raisin Pesto is another Italian inspired dish that is both delicious and nutritious. This award-winning soup is low in calories, cholesterol, fat, and sodium. Oh, and it’s vegetarian, too. How can you go wrong?

For vegetarian pastas, California Raisin Pasta is a quick classic favorite, and Gnocchi with California Golden Raisins and Orange makes little pillow dumplings that melt in your mouth. All of these dishes are full of flavor and sure to please vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike!

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo With California Raisins

Here are some exciting ways to celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day with delicious food from Mexico and flavorful California Raisins.

Chicken with California Raisin MoleChicken with California Raisin Mole or Beef Ribs with Smoky Raisin Mole are decadent Mexican classics, with roots in Mayan times.

Pumpkin Tamales Filled with Shredded Beef and California RaisinsPumpkin Tamales Filled with Shredded Beef and California Raisins are a twist on some delicious traditional favorites.

Snapper a la VeracruzanaFor seafood lovers, Grilled Salmon with Raisin Pipiân Sauce, with its nutty and earthy flavors, or Snapper a la Veracruzana, elegant and delicate, will wow everyone’s taste buds.

Spicy Pork Carnitas on Soft Corn Sopes with California Raisins, Red Raisin Syrup and Poblano CrèmaFor more casual favorites, Spicy Pork Carnitas on Soft Corn Sopes with California Raisins, Red Raisin Syrup and Poblano Crèma, little corn boats bursting with Latin flavors, or Picadillo Pork Chili, a classic dish with tons of spices and mild chiles, won’t last long.

Mayan Soft TacosFinally, you can never go wrong with tacos, and Mayan Soft Tacos, packed with juicy beef and Hispanic condiments, are sure to please everyone.

Rice Pudding Balls (Bolitas de Arroz con Leche)For dessert, Mexican Chocolate Rum-Raisin Bread Pudding is a rich chocolate dessert, guaranteed to be a hit with friends and family. Rice Pudding Balls (Bolitas de Arroz con Leche) pair perfectly with a glass of Calcium-rich milk and is an easy, fun recipe for everyone to make and enjoy.

Raisin’ the Fun on Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day, honor your very special Mom by doing something extra special. Plan a do-ahead brunch or take her breakfast in bed. Either way, everyone gets involved and surprises Mom! The kids can help prepare these easy and delicious dishes, and almost all of it can be done the night before.

Fruit Salsa SaladEasy Oven-baked French Toast with Raisin SyrupStart off with colorful Fruit Salsa Salad made the night before and chilled. At the same time, prepare the syrup, dip the bread in the custard, and arrange it in a glass baking dish, so that the Easy Oven-baked French Toast with Raisin Syrup is just ready to pop into the oven in the morning. Be sure to store it in the refrigerator, of course, and bake it a bit longer than the recipe says for the very best results.

Fiesta Brunch StrataPerhaps the Fiesta Brunch Strata or a Do Ahead Hot Breakfast would be more to Mom’s liking. They are prepared the night before, too. If Mom is a toast-and-coffee breakfast person, California Raisin Scone, made the day before, can be warmed and served for a fresh and delicious treat.

It’s so easy to pay special attention to Mother on her day, and you will love the extra time you have to spend with her when you use these do-ahead ideas.
California produces the World’s best, nutritious and fun-filled fruit. Eat more California Raisins in 2008.

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